Gen. George Sears Greene, Forgotten Hero
By Kathryn Jorgensen
- May 2002 - WARWICK, R.I.
A far-flung band of preservationists, including
a photographer, a web master and a writer, is determined to
see that Gen. George Sears Greene gets the respect he deserves
starting with his neglected and vandalized gravesite.
Greene was a West Point graduate and engineer from Warwick who
led the 3rd Brigade of New Yorkers on Culps Hill the second
day at Gettysburg. Because he had ordered construction of breast-works
earlier in the day his lone brigade successfully held off Confederate
attacks and saved the Federal right flank.
He was born in 1801 and was one of the oldest field commanders
in the war. He served with New York, rather than Rhode Island
troops, because he had been working in New York at the time
he joined, as a colonel in the 60th New York.
As visitors to the www.geocities.com/greenehemp/
web site will see, the Greene family cemetery where the general
was buried in 1899 is a mess.
Web site http://johnbhood.tripod.com/gengreene/default.htm,
"Hero No More," is devoted to Greene. And at www.militaryhistoryonline.com
people can sign a electronic petition to have the cemetery and
Except for one person who lives about 40 minutes from Warwick,
the prime movers are hundreds of miles away.
Paul Hemphill is the nearby photographer who documented the
cemeterys condition and put the pictures on the geocities
web site listed above.
Bruce Bump of Erie, Pa., is web master of the Hero No More site.
He says he created it on behalf of some concerned members of
the Military History Online group. Hes also created the
site which included a petition for preservation of that Ohio
David W. Palmer of Philadelphia, whose biography of Greene is
under review for publication, was successful in getting a letter
to the editor published in the Warwick Beacon. In it he urged
that Greens home, which is for sale, be preserved.
He since found a 1900 deed for the house to be made into a museum,
which was not done.
Also helping the effort is Les Rolston of Warwick who has tried
in the past to get a group to take re-sponsibility for the cemetery,
and Greene great-granddaughter Joan Pierpont. The only official
who has responded to the preservationists is the Warwick mayor.
The state Sons of Union Veterans said they did not have funds
or manpower, according to Bump.
Despite the history of past squabbling between preservation
groups, Bump said his informal group is trying to find solutions.
Right now theyre thinking of Scouts who could earn badges
and perform community service at the cemetery
Palmer thinks Greene has been forgotten in Rhode Island because
of "ignorance, wrong information and little self-promotion
by the General himself."
Bump says, "We are not doing this for personal recognition,
we are doing this because it is the right thing to do as patriots
who believe in Americas past, and for future generations
of Americans to come."